The landmark Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) has begun a revolution in mainstream telecommunications and video technology accessibility. Among its many groundbreaking achievements, the CVAA mandates several of the most popular television networks to make some of their prime-time and children’s programs accessible to viewers with vision loss by adding video description. To help celebrate and promote this achievement, AFB has implemented a Described TV Listings page on our website, an online guide where visitors can determine which shows will be described as well as when they air.
Video description (sometimes called “audio description” or simply “description”) makes television programs and movies accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired. Short verbal descriptions of action or key visual scenes in a program, such as setting, costumes, and facial expressions, are provided to add context. The descriptions are inserted into pauses within a program’s dialog.
Since July 1, 2012, the networks are required to each provide approximately four hours of video description per week include ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, USA, the Disney Channel, TNT, Nickelodeon, and TBS. This expanded array of choices is a much-fought-for complement to the current rich menu of described programming that PBS has offered for many years.
AFB’s Described TV Listings initiative makes it easier to find which shows are described, allowing people with vision loss to enjoy their favorite shows alongside their sighted peers.
To learn which programs are being described and when they will air in your area, and to learn more about how to access them on your television, visit www.afb.org/tv.